Minolta X-700: My Favorite 35mm SLR


The Minolta X-700 is a compact SLR, with all the features you need and a few extra ones. Probably my favourite SLR of all time and nearly my favourite camera of all time. I will try to explain why in this review.

I first stumbled across the Minolta X-700 in June of last year (2011). I was on a school trip going to World War I graves, trenches, and memorials in Belgium and France. I had with me my DSLR and my Halina Paulette. My then girlfriend had with her a black and interesting-looking SLR. I asked her if I could take a few shots with it, as soon as I told it I knew I had to get one, the grip is fantastic and the camera’s layout is simple and very user friendly.

It has P mode which is basically automatic mode, A (aperture priority), and then fully manual mode, so the camera allows you to have as much or as little control as you want.

After I got the results from my Halina Paulette back from the lab, I was hugely disappointed most of the images did not come out. I compared them to my girlfriend’s results with her X-700, and was blown away.

I started to search for one for myself but couldnt find one at a fair price.

Around 7 months later, I finally found one £50 with 3 lenses, the 50mm 1.7, 28mm 2.8 and a 3rd party zoom. I was so excited I didn’t talk about anything else for the 3 days it took to arrive, and to me and my girlfriends relief the camera arrived. I ripped open the parcel and inside found my beloved X-700. Upon closer inspection, I was hugely disappointed; the 3 lenses each had severe lens fungus. I started to search for more lenses, but found another x-700 body with 3 lenses for £30. I snapped it up, and luckily these lenses didn’t have fungus, so I now had 2 bodies and 6 lenses. I sold the body and the 3 fungus-filled lenses, and managed to get £60. I was very happy with my purchase but needed a standard 50mm lens. I started searchig on eBay, I then found a broken Minolta XE and I know they came with the highly regarded Minolta 50mm 1.4 lens. So I contacted the seller and I managed to get the lens for £6! I then sold my 3 remaining lenses for £25, so I had, in effect, got a Minolta X-700 and Minolta 50mm 1.4 lens for £1.

Here is an image of my beloved camera.

Now, down to the review. As usual, when I get a camera, I check the battery, to see if its working. I go out and shoot regardless of the weather.

I loaded my X-700 with Lucky SHD 100 and set off on a walk with my girlfriend. I live in Hellifield, a village in North West England, so my main subjects are animals, flowers, landscapes, or friends I am with.

The camera its self handles perfectly. It’s made of plastic on a metal chassis so it’s just the right weight and combined with the 50mm 1.4 the camera is a pleasure to use, I normally shoot in aperture priority. We walked up a hill to a ram shackled farm, where we found some goats and 2 very friendly cats; we watched them for around 15 minutes, Here are some of the results. I developed the film in cafenol and scanned with Epson Perfection 4870.

We continued up the hill to find some highland cattle, here is a shot of one of them.

This was in January so it was rather cold, but I really like shooting in winter.

Later on in the day we went on a walk to a near by forest, which is like a wonderland with a lake in the middle, here are some shots from there.

The X-700 has a fantastic metering system and works well in any light especially when used with a bright lens like the 50 1.4.

Recently, I picked up a small job lot of expired film off eBay. One of the films was Ilford SFX, a black and white film with infared capabilities. I also picked up a roll of Kodak HIE but I’m waiting for summer to shoot that marvelous film. I purchased a r72 filter to exploit the infared of the Ilford SFX, and I took it with me on a visit to my girlfriend’s house. We went on a walk to a lovely wooded area. I shot at f16 in bulb and used the camera metering but added another 5 stops to compensate for the filter. Every single shoot came out. Here are some of my favorites.

The above shots were developed in Rodinal.

To conclude my review, the Minolta X-700 is my favorite camera and has been since I set my hands on one. I can highly recommend one to anybody, as they are quite cheap and have a fantastic array of accessories and lenses. They accept both MD and MC mount lenses. I try to use mine as much as possible, and it fits in a large coat pocket just about but I usually use a strap. If you are new to SLR photography then its a great choice as it has a auto mode. Also, if you’re looking for something that gives you more control again it is great.

Thank you for taking time to read my review, I hope you found it useful. It’s my first review and I hope to write more in the future, so please feel free to comment. Thanks!

written by brandkow93 on 2012-03-30 in #people #reviews #automatic #the-best #minolta-x-700 #manual #slr #film-camera #user-review #lomography


  1. kiri-girl
    kiri-girl ·

    Love! I got a Minolta Xd7 and it's my first and one of my favorite slrs to use :)

  2. laurasulilly
    laurasulilly ·

    Yay, I love my Minolta x-700 as well!

  3. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Being a Minolta Maxxum 600si user I find your pictures outstanding!

  4. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Thanks for the pointers on IR film I am looking forward to receive mine too!

  5. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    Thank you very much :)
    you are very welcome, if you have got actual IR film not black and white with heighten red sensitivety and your shooting it in a more modern slr then check if the camera uses Infared to cheeck the film spacing, if it does then it will ruin your film. Have fun shooting it, its a much different experience but a great one, and i cant wait to see your results.

  6. vandal
    vandal ·


  7. pkirsche
    pkirsche ·

    Nice pictures! Amazing camera you've got, congratulations! I'll try to purchase one soon, I still don't have a SLR.

  8. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    @pkirsche thanks alot :) it really is lovely and the minolta 50 1.4 lens is amazing. Cool i hope you get one, if you can not find a x-700 then look out for other Minolta X series cameras (XG series, XE series, XD series, or the sibling of this camera X-300 and X-500, every photographer has to have a SLR lol.

  9. katecd
    katecd ·

    Minolta X-700 is also my favourite camera, I'm glad I accidentally introduced you to it :)

  10. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    hehehe i know it is, and thank you for accidentily introducing it to me

  11. katecd
    katecd ·

    It's quite alright hehee

  12. pkirsche
    pkirsche ·

    @brandkow93 You're right, I really need one... =/ I'm afraid these Minolta cameras are hard to find here in Brazil, for they were never made here... At least I still couldn't find them.

  13. thelonelycyclist
    thelonelycyclist ·

    What a lovely story I have have had 3 of these cameras since 1986 and still have 2 together with 8 lenses and really love it,and have no desire to go digital.

  14. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Hi, @brandkow93 I managed to ruin a perfect roll of EIR, despite exposing in a Yashica Electro 35 GSN, however, the pictures are very strange indeed despite the lab damaging the film during processing. Do you still have the X-700? Do you own other lenses?

  15. cyclekarl
    cyclekarl ·

    Thanks for your review and lovely photo's,by the way what film did you use?Well I have been using these cameras since 1986 and have 2 of them.

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